Online Master’s Degree in Education

Education Major: Adult and Continuing Education Concentration

College of Education, Health & Human Sciences

Program Overview

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, offers a MS in Education, Adult and Continuing Education Concentration. Those who complete the program will be prepared for careers as educators, researchers, and a host of other professions.

Credit Hours


Cost Per Credit Hour*

In-State $700

Out-of-State $775

Testing Requirement


Admission Terms

Fall, Spring, Summer

*Cost per credit hour is an estimate based on maintenance and university fees. Some programs may have additional course fees. Please contact your department for additional information on any related fees, and visit Tuition and Fees in Detail at One Stop.

two adult learners in library studying on computers

A Degree to Advance Your Career

The Adult and Continuing Education Distance Program is designed for professionals working in school settings, colleges and universities, business and government, and those preparing for work in these and related areas.

The master of science concentration in adult and continuing education helps develop professionals who can work effectively with adult learners in a wide range of settings and under various situations. It offers students learning experiences that prepare them to work with a range of diverse adult learners, equipping them to work and live in globalized societies and environments that are more culturally sensitive.

The concentration includes coursework in such areas as adult learning and development, program planning, reflective practice, professional issues in adult education, research, and teaching adults. Emphasis is on developing reflective practitioners who actively participate in leadership and service to promote adult learning in a global community. This concentration may be used as a stepping stone for doctoral study in adult education, adult learning, or related areas.

Featured Courses

The MS in Education, Adult and Continuing Education Concentration requires a mix of core courses, advanced courses, and research methods. Here are some examples of courses from each section:

ACED 520: Survey of Adult Education

This course covers adult education programs’ historical development and philosophies, agencies, associations, and more. It also explores the literature and issues surrounding adult education processes and the diversity of continuing education.

ACED 527: Ethical Issues in Adult Education

Ethical issues confronting the field of adult education; development of critical analysis skills by examining ethical decision-making processes.

ACED 538: Non-Western Perspective on Teaching and Learning

Explores non-Western perspectives of teaching and learning in formal and informal settings. It reviews and analyzes learning and teaching in the contexts of 10 different societies, cultures, history/traditions, religions, and/or philosophies, etc., and discusses their implications for adult learning settings.

EDPY 574: Facilitating Change in Educational Environments

Practical issues of group change. Analyses of group and individual experiences in all types of educational settings in relation to systems theory and collaborative learning theory. Needs of individuals and groups involved in change and roles of inside and outside change agents.

Program Application Materials

Here are examples of the application materials needed to apply to the online MS in Education, Adult and Continuing Education Concentration. Please check with the department for the latest application requirements.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

This document should provide detailed information about your professional and academic experiences, as well as notable achievements, awards, volunteer work, etc.

Cover Letter/ Letter of Introduction

The cover letter is an opportunity for us to get to know you. It should elaborate upon your CV, highlight your skills, and explain your goals for pursuing a PhD in adult and continuing education. 

Statement Goals

Please share with us your research interests and how this degree will help you achieve goals in your learning, career development, and life enrichment; how you plan to use your prior life and work experiences, knowledge, and skills in your new learning; and how you intend to complete the degree.

Writing Sample

Select a copy of your prior thesis for a graduate degree, a course paper for a degree program, a published article, a conference paper, or another form of writing that you feel represents your professional writing skills and style. 

Three Recommendation Letters/ Rating Forms

Provide either a letter by appropriately selected recommenders OR provide selected raters to complete a form that Graduate Admissions will automatically send to your chosen raters. For example, one or more faculty members can attest to your academic work, or your work supervisor can attest to your capabilities. Family members and personal friends are not appropriate raters. Although we can start to review your application with two recommendations, the third recommendation often helps in our decision-making process.  

Light the Way with Your Master’s in Education.